Prime Minister Antonio Costa took to Twitter on Wednesday to say that “Portugal remains one of the safest countries in the world. This is extremely important for who lives here and who visits us, but also essential for an environment that attracts investment, promoting the growth and progress of our country”. The Prime Minister congratulated law enforcement professionals for their dedication, “24 hours of the day, every day of the year”.
Presidi ao Conselho Superior de Segurança Interna que analisou o Relatório Anual de Segurança Interna 2021. Mantém-se em níveis historicamente baixos a criminalidade participada, incluindo a criminalidade violenta e grave, cerca de 10% abaixo da média dos anos de 2016 a 2019.
— António Costa (@antoniocostapm) May 25, 2022
His statement comes after the release of the Annual Report of Internal Security (RASI) 2021 which says that violent and serious crime is 10% lower than the average in 2016 and 2019. Violent and serious crime represents 4% of all crimes reported and investigated in 2021.
However, crime in general increased by 0.9% in 2021 to 301,934 cases. Certain crimes also increased substantially, including youth crime, group crime, and rape in comparison to 2020.
Group crime increased by 7.7% to 4,997 cases and youth crime increased by 7.3% to 1,120 cases. Group crime is a crime committed by three or more suspects, regardless of the nature o the crime. Its increase is the second largest in the last decade after it increased in 2019 by 15.9%. Youth crime refers to crimes committed by individuals between 12 to 16 years old and there is an increase in violent crimes in this age group.
Rape increased by 26% in Portugal in 2021, being one of the largest increases in violent and serious crimes. There were 315 cases of rape reported in 2020 and 397 cases in 2021. According to RASI, the defendants are mostly men between the ages of 21 and 30 and the victims are women of the same age. In 46% of the cases, the defendant and victim knew each other.
Along with a decrease in violent and serious crime, domestic violence decreased by 3.9%, as well as thefts in homes (-8.2%).
The districts with the most incidents of crime are Lisbon (72,183), Porto (47,552), Setubal (28,679), and Faro (20,788). However, Porto saw a decrease of 2.9% for the year 2021, with around 3,000 fewer cases than in 2020. Other areas with the largest decrease in crime were Portalegre (-8.5%) and Madeira (-7.9%).